French hospitals braced for Covid-19 'tsunami' and choices of who dies and who lives

Recorded deaths in France from the Covid-19 coronavirus by Saturday evening had risen to 562, with 6,172 people receiving hospital treatment for the infection, a quarter of who are in intensive care, according to official figures. But no-one doubts this is still a statistical calm before the epidemic engulfs France’s healthcare system, a wave forecast to reach a peak in early April. Mediapart has been talking to doctors and nurses around France about how they are preparing for a crisis many predict will be so great that choices will have to be made about which patients are admitted for treatment – as is already happening in the currently worst-hit region of Alsace.

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The Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic in France is accelerating towards a peak, which the head of the intensive care unit at one of the major Paris hospitals, Ambroise Paré, on Friday forecast would occur at the beginning of April.